No Place For ‘Solidarity’: A Reflection on Black Femmes in Social Movement

I remember a young woman in undergrad once announcing to a large group of students,”We have to stand in solidarity with one another even when we don’t necessarily understand or agree totally with the method of engagement.” In that moment I asked myself, “Who does she mean by ‘we’?”

The young Latina was attempting to bring together students of different race and gender backgrounds to rally around a cause specific to Latinx students on campus. At the time, I took her claim wholesale. Taking the word “solidarity” to simply mean unity, I assumed her assertion of group action related to all issues affecting any students in the group, not just those affected by the issue for which she was advocating that day. However, I later found that there was a great deal of anti-Blackness in that group. And, while I can’t generalize that experience to broader communities, it was a harsh lesson in understanding what solidarity really means. 

Obama Cuts Funding for Christian-Based Abstinence Sex-Ed Program

President Obama has proposed a budget for 2017, which removes a $10 million annual grant that goes towards funding “abstinence-only” sexual education classes in public schools. By getting rid of this money, Obama ends the financial incentive for states to continue to teach this one-sided sexual education program.

Gabby Douglas Wins The American Cup, Proves She’s Ready for the Olympics

On Saturday, 20-year-old Douglas won the American Cup at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, which was her first gold since winning the Olympic all-around in London in 2012. There have only been six American women who have gone on to compete in two Olympic competitions since 1980. Thus far, the only woman who has gotten gold medalist twice was Věra Čáslavská in 1968. No pressure, Gabby.

The Problems With Zoe Saldana’s Casting As Nina Simone Are More Than Skin Deep

On Tuesday, we learned that the embattled biopic loosely based on Nina Simone’s life, simply called Nina, will be released on April 22. On Wednesday, the trailer was released. And, while all the sentiments against Zoe Saldana’s blackface (or “mud face”) and fake accent are correct, there’s a bigger reason why Saldana never should have taken the role in the first place: Saldana doesn’t believe that Black womanhood is a thing.